Can I start by saying how great you guys all are? I received so many comments of encouragement and understanding on my last post. It was good to share with you and hear that we all have bad days. Something I know, obviously, but when you’re really feeling low it helps to know that you you’re not alone. Seriously so many THANKS!
Onward..I was going to save this recap for the last installment (there are five total) but I thought I would go ahead and share it with you today. If you’re local, you’re gonna need this post to carry you though the next 24 hours. The 8-14″ of snow we are to be receiving soon is highly untyte. We need to think positive!
Today I want to share with you my garden and exterior home improvements. When we saw the house for the first time everything was almost perfect, the kitchen was lacking, there was wood trim and paneling, but I could get over those things, I could see the positives. The house had a great layout, lots of room, and of course the porches. I knew we could make that bad stuff better. BUT then there was the exterior and garden. The house was covered in asbestos siding, trimmed with mint green awnings matched with a mint foundation and roof and dark peach steps. The yard boasted a green fence, a pee stained lawn and a giant rock garden. Every girls dream, not. How was I supposed to look past that?
My first mission after moving in was to whip the yard and exterior of this house into shape. I accomplished a lot by the end of my first summer and even more as the years go on.
Above you’ll see the house when it was listed in 2008, the yard had been maintained back then. The house was then sold to the people who owned it before us, they lived here for two years and had a dog who ran the fence and destroyed the yard. By 2010 when we bought it, the yard was looking bad.
That’s my mom up there, sorry mom for the not so flattering shot, but it’s the only one I could find. So you can see that the bushes had been destroyed since 2008, we went ahead and chopped them down and let the two twiggy bushes begin to grow. It took me two years before I realized the twiggy bushes were dogwood trees. I kept trimming them into hedge shapes, poor dogwoods.
See the yellow pee stains too?, gross. I laid down grass seed (which I do every spring) and watered like a crazy person.
Cool rock garden, right? No way, man. That garden was covered in dog poop, I scooped and scooped rocks. It took me two weeks but I was bound and determined to get rid of that rock garden. I added some manure and top soil and threw down a bunch of zinnias seeds. In no time I had a pretty garden along side the walkway.
Finn and I would spend afternoons outside, he would play, I would dig and turn over dirt. I wanted a garden with an organically shaped border, I had mapped it out and thought about it for a few weeks. I removed all the grass and dug and turned the dirt, added manure and top soil. I used plastic garden edging to finish it off.
For the first year nearly all my plants came from my moms garden, she split off so many hostas (the nice kids), lilies, phlox, ferns and bleeding heart for me. It was such a sweet thing of her to do, and I love that some of my garden came from her. My grandma gave me tons of Iris, and that’s a nice memory to have too. Everything else was almost all annuals that I planted from seed. We didn’t have much money to spend on a garden, we had just moved in. I was focusing on making a good foundation for the coming years.
Here’s that rock garden. As you can see I planted things pretty willy-nilly. I picked up a bunch of small hostas at a garage sale, that’s how we roll in the midwest. In 2012 I got frustrated with the disorganization, dug the entire garden up, split the perennials and planted it again in a much more cohesive fashion. I’m glad I did that! I’m looking forward to seeing strong, healthy perennials in this garden this year because of it.
Zinnias are my jam – all planted from seed.
See what the curvy border garden does for the yard, I love it.
By the fall something great had happened. My folks got their house resided, in the process they took down a brick foundation. So you know what I did, I grabbed all those bricks, carload by carload, brought them home and made a brick border around my gardens. I think the brick border looks great and it makes for the easiest mowing. It’s also another sentimental-family-ties sorta layer to add to the garden.
This is the fall, so everything is looking kind of worn, but I wanted you to see how much could be done in one gardening season! From here on out it’s just a matter of collecting and rearranging plants – I have all my gardens arranged and looking sharp.
This is what I do always. Plan, make lists, and follow through. I fulfilled most of those note items on the left.
The next summer we got real fancy and added mulch. You can see already how much larger the perennials have become.
Awh, isn’t spring pretty. We added the crab apple tree in 2012 removing some sort of old crooked pine tree and almost killing ourselves in the process. I love this view.
This shot describes perfectly how the perennials have filled in over the years.
I love this planter, totally doing this in the front window boxes this year.
Coral bells, Impatiens, and Bleeding Hearts.
Gaw, are you dying, I’m dying. I want this to happen again so bad!
Can’t you just imagine it with a nice new fence?
The old rock garden with newly organized perennials and those short zinnias that I love so much.
On to the exterior, see how bad it was, see? Woof. I wasn’t kidding about those dark peach stairs either.
You can see that the house is just looking old and tired. It needs some Scoops loving in a major way.
We did this all in one summer! We removed the awning, painted the foundation steps and window boxes and tried to do the slightest amount of landscaping. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a new set of steps this year, as our are crumbling.
And then in 2012 we really painted. It’s been two years and I still love the dark blue siding and the dark grey storm windows so much. It has done so much for this house. We also got a new roof last summer too, now the mint green is all gone.
The crab apple tree in the front yard is Finn’s tree, the other smaller one in the back garden is Gus’. It’s amazing to see how tall the tree in the front yard has grown in such a short amount of time
The back of the house at sunset. It’s not so bad now, is it?
Stay tuned for one last installment of the recap!